Vanderbilt University Brain Institute

Organized by:
Vanderbilt University Brain Institute

Participating Organizations:

Nashville Public Library

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Exhibit
  • Other
  • Other: Brain Blast

Target Audiences:

  • Elementary school students(1-5)
  • General Public
  • Middle school students(6-8)

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

2019 Brain Blast Summary The Vanderbilt Brain Institute’s 2019 Brain Blast was a wonderful success. This year, the annual neuroscience outreach event was held on Saturday, March 16th from 10am to 2pm. In total, there were approximately 400 attendees throughout the day. We had the privilege of partnering with the Nashville Public Library, and held Brain Blast in one of their large ballroom spaces at the main (downtown) branch. This partnership was fruitful for both parties, with several families who had come with the purpose of visiting the library spontaneously deciding to attend Brain Blast, and vice-versa. The Library staff was gracious and exceedingly helpful in setting up and cleaning up the event, and we will be collaborating again with the Library for Brain Blast in 2020. As in past years, there were several exciting booths that the kids were able to visit. These included the opportunity to make cockroach legs dance to music, see an EEG of their own brain activity, control video games with their eyes, extract DNA from strawberries, and make models of neurons out of pipe cleaners. A major hit was Dr. Suzana Herculano-Houzel’s lab station, where kids were able to piece together increasingly difficult 3-D “puzzles” of actual sheep brains and interact with 3-D printed brain models of several other species. In addition to other booths put on by individual labs, several organizations within Vanderbilt hosted booths, including the MSTP program, the Center for Cognitive Medicine, the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery and the Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science. A special highlight for the kids was interacting with “Officer” Jack, the K9 therapy dog with the Vanderbilt Police Department’s bike

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Calendar Listings (newspapers, radio, television)
  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Social Media


Of the Dana Foundation publications/resources distributed at your event(s), if any, please indicate the three most popular. Please choose up to three. If "other," please indicate below:

  • More Mindbogglers!
  • BAW Stickers
  • The Mindboggling Workbook
  • Q&A: Answering Your Questions About The Brain

Feedback & Keys to Success

How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?

Great way for our graduate students and faculty to connect with the community.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Contact Information

BAW Website:


Contact Name:

Beth Sims

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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